Politician gets a taste of own dose
An interesting and well-thought out article. Though I don’t follow the Indian political scene, I couldn’t resist reading this in its entirety after seeing the headline and Sharad Pawar’s photo. I’m glad Pawar knows how it feels to be a “use-and-throw” object, which is how he has treated the Indian public.
Ramakant G Salian, On Email
Refer to Rana Ayyub’s ‘What is His Gameplan?’ 4 August.
The TEHELKA cover featuring Sharad Pawar jolted things right out of the murk of rumours and brought them under the spotlight, making people forget about the didis and dadas and focus on the bhaus. The photograph chosen clearly speaks of the resentment he felt at being sidelined. The cover also serves as a reminder that the alliance can be toyed with very easily, regardless of the goings-on in the rest of the country. Pawar can aspire to be the prime minister, because eventually money power matters too. You have done a good job with the subtle projection of his greed for power and the brand of politics that is synonymous with the man.
Mayuri Mehrotra, On Email
Really impressive and informative story on Pawar politics.
Tekchand Sonawane, On Email
Read with deep interest and intrigue your article on Sharad Pawar, which I must say is written very objectively, without any frills and drama. The political careers of Sushil Kumar Shinde, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sharad Pawar are intertwined. They are rivals and friends of convenience. You have tapped well the undercurrents of the reasons behind Sharad Pawar’s unrest. The Congress sees Sharad Pawar, like Nitish Kumar and others, as a significant threat. His control of the cooperatives sector, his friends in the Left, his friendship with Naveen Patnaik and the Akalis. The 2014 game has started and so has the bartering. Sushil Kumar Shinde becoming Home minister is a part of the same muscle-flexing. It’s an insightful piece and would want to read more on these leaders and their fight for the top. Keep writing well!
Samar K, On Email
Your analysis of Pawar was an excellent one. Thumbs up! But do you think he will ever become the prime minister of our country? Who knows? In an era of weird coalitions, even Pawar might live to see the day!
Sweeto Thomas, On Email
It looked more like justification for the Muslim youth to start arming themselves and launching jihad. The reason being the Indian State atrocity against them. Have you thought of asking the Hindus who fled Kashmir due to the atrocities committed on them by terrorists; why didn’t they pick up guns and start killing? Hope you write something about this the next time.
Refer To Baba Umar’s ‘The Death Knell Sounds Again’, 28 July
Chandan Shrivastava, On Email
Dare To Bare
Refer to ‘The Tail has Begun to Wag the Dog’ by Shoma Chaudhury, 28 July.
Read your article on the media excesses. Appreciate your having the guts to write it.
George Sebastian, On Email
Refer to ‘For many Indians, ecological concerns mean nothing but an ATM machine not yet plundered’ by Shoma Chaudhury, 28 July.
Really liked your viewpoint on ecology in the latest issue of TEHELKA. You hit the nail on its head, as the cliche goes.
Rajeev Pai, On Email
Refer to ‘Gapped: Holy River, Unholy Mess’ by Brijesh Pandey, 28 July.
Was really impressed with the article and the information you presented. Frankly, I’d never heard about this project; the article was really very informative. I want to share some ideas with you. Groundwater is depleting very fast. Fresh water is finite. Solutions: Making rainwater harvesting compulsory. Channelise water across states and the country as a whole; we don’t need channels or canals, as there is a river network already present. It’s just that they have all dried up, and we need to revive them. Wastewater from cities should go directly into treatment plants, and then be released into the river, instead of cleaning the river water. You should be the agent of change and bridge the gap between the government and private players.
Arpit Bhargava, On Email
Refer to ‘The Butchers of Kokrajhar ’ by Ratnadip Choudhury, 4 August.
Your in-depth report on Assam violence was good. It would be an eye-opener if you research and write something about the sudden upsurge in the Muslim population in Bodoland. Don’t you smell some conspiracy? Hope to get some insight. It will be an eyeopener for the Centre and state, which are bothered only by votebanks.
Abhishek Mehra, On Email
Refer to ‘The Minority’s Minority’ by Sai Manish and ‘Nothing Sickular About It’ by Abdul Khaliq, 28 July.
I was confused after reading these two articles. Why doesn’t Khaliq first read the minority article and then advise us? Shoma Chaudhury can also advise us on the same. Let us leave out this secular-non-secular, caste feelings and try to move on in life. Let us think of all the poor people irrespective of their caste, religion, state or language and work towards improving their lives. We must stop cheating innocent people, desist from raising non-issues and strive for the betterment of all. Tavleen Singh is right. People want to raise issues that are not relevant to the common man. Let us join the campaign of Anna Hazare and root out the corrupt and corruption. Let us punish the guilty.
Venkatrao H, On Email
Refer to ‘Manufacturing Shame’ by Ratnadip Choudhury, 28 July.
Is it the duty of a reporter to save a girl from being molested? The answer lies in the job profile of a reporter. Firstly, reporters are trained to bring news. They are not trained to save a girl from being molested. In this case, the reporter is also filming the news, it’s a part of documentation. Secondly, there was a life risk in saving the girl because the offenders were many in number. He could have even been killed. Thirdly, from the facts presented in the report, the molestation took place outside the bar at a wine shop. Why didn’t the public try and stop the molesters or call the police? Now after the news is aired, the public wakes up and blame goes to the reporter.
Arnab Kumar Banerjee, On Email
Refer to Sai Manish’s ‘The Minority’s Minority’ 28 July.
So far, India is a model democracy and there is significant ethnic diversity within the subcontinent. India must not follow the clerics of Pakistan. India’s greatness and success following 65 years since Partition has been astronomical, compared to its counterpart Pakistan. Compare the tale of the two nations. Pakistan stands at the pit of destruction while India soars towards prosperity. Pakistan’s problem is not Ahmadiyyas but the vacuum of moral ground, lack of justice, fairness, freedom and accountability. Basically, it just refuses to “do the right thing”! Your article talks of India following Pakistan’s lead with respect to the clerics and Ahmadiyya persecution. So, is India ready to spiral down into the abyss that we call Pakistan? Looking forward to your follow-up piece!
K Malik, On Email
The report is remarkable. For the first time, TEHELKA has dealt with a very suppressed minority, the Ahmadiyya sect in Islam. No other sect in Islam has faced such concerted and vicious wrath as them. All accusations levelled against the Ahmadiyya faith by the Ulemas are based on blatant intolerance of difference of view. The holy Prophet had cautioned of these Ulemas and compared them to donkeys carrying volumes that do not benefit them in any way. In spite of all the atrocities perpetrated upon Ahmadiyyas in Muslim countries, they have propagated far and wide Islam’s true message. They have been establishing Islamic centers and mosques all over the world, including Israel, China and Russia. They preach peace and brotherhood and practise what they preach. Through Humanity First, their organisation engaged in the service of the suffering, they extend help and rehabilitation to those hit by natural calamities anywhere in the world, including hostile countries such as Bangladesh and Indonesia. With their broad vision of Islam, Ahmadiyyas are able to achieve international status and recognition. As a follower of the Ahmadiyya community, may I place on record my heartfelt thanks to TEHELKA for publishing a piece of information that the world should be aware of.
Ba Hameed, On Email
Bollywood’s Revolting Spirit
Refer to ‘Editor’s Cut’ by Shoma Chaudhury, 4 August.
Great point of view, Shoma. Hope the director reads it.
Sathya Saran, On Email
I tend to agree with most of your observations in your review of the movie, Cocktail. Yes, the movie makers should know better than reinforce the extremely regressive misogyny of the Indian psyche. But how does one account for the fact that someone like Deepika Padukone willingly signs up for the specific role she was assigned in this film. Is there a possibility that the money and prerequisites that come with lead roles in Bollywood films manage to hold greater sway than matters of principle.
Cyrus P, On Email
I couldn’t agree with you more. The issue is very relevant, with all the ghastly sexual assault against women rising day by day. I am no fan of mainstream Bollywood, but because it is supposed to be the barometer of popular culture, it is worrying how it promotes a distorted value system, where women have to be really meek and submissive to inherit the earth. What drives me around the bend is that the middle classes are lapping it all up without thinking it through.
Amit Manuviraj, On Email
Firstly, I would like to congratulate TEHELKA for reinstating my faith in the media. At least, there is some organisation whose sole aim isn’t merely garnering eyeballs but exposing truths, however harsh they might be. Last week’s editorial was highly impressive. What I found problematic in Cocktail, besides its misogynist trope, was the fact that it completely ruined the space of female bonding, which it had beautifully created in the first half.
Rini Sinha, On Email
Your article on Cocktail is definitely praiseworthy. I am an engineer, banker and an aspiring filmmaker. I find cinema as a great form to express human conditions. Indian cinema has a long way to go but I am sure the change would begin soon.
Ankit Tripathi, On Email
Indian Muslims want India to be secular and go on complaining about the treatment meted to them. But they will never raise a voice against the treatment meted out to fellow Indians in Saudi Arabia or any other Islamic country. They have no objections to most Islamic countries not being secular. But they feel Hindu majority countries should not champion Hindutva. For secularism’s sake, they are not ready to give up religious laws. As long as this pseudo-secularism continues, Muslims are bound to suffer as they will be seen as a votebank by politicians. That is precisely what is happening to Ahmadiyyas of Hyderabad because no other political party is ready to take up their cause for the fear of losing the Sunni Muslim vote.
Duggaraju Srinivasa Rao, On Email
Chaos In The House
Refer to ‘Notes From a Dead House’ by Revati Laul, 4 August.
The violence at Maruti's Manesar plant have made labour reforms the urgent need of the hour. It cannot be put under the carpet anymore. It will just be a matter of time when Maruti decides to move from Manesar to Gujarat, thanks to Narendra Modi's investment- friendly policies and tax benefits. This violence has not only impacted production, but Maruti's image has also taken a beating. Maruti was once the pride of India but those days are far behind us
Bal Govind, On Email
Women On Top
Refer to ‘A Khap that Wasn’t’ by Soumik Mukherjee, 28 July.
Even though the excessive Khap diktat turned out to be an instance of media manoeuvering, it was shocking to hear supposedly urbane gentlemen justify the diktat. Many reputed and international studies have shown that women comprise over 40 percent of the agricultural labour force in the developing world. The female share in India has remained steady at just over 30 percent. Some facts released by the Indian Government show that 48 percent of India’s self-employed farmers are women. As per a recent report, if women had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase their yields by 20-30 per cent. This would raise total agricultural yields in developing countries between 2.5 and 4 percent and reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 100-150 million. And here we have khaps asking women to stop doing all of these till the menfolk get rid of their hangover and are ready to escort them. Asking women not to go out is like asking people not to buy cars as the roads in the villages are going to get worse. Defending these khaps is like stating that the Taliban should be respected because they help people in times of earthquakes.
Syed Sabihur Rahman, On Email
The Bite Back
Refer to ‘Northeast’s Reverse Racism’ by Avalok Langer, 21 July.
People are called not just Indians but by other names too such as dhakar, mayang, vais and madiseys in parts of North Bengal and Sikkim. But the greatest difference I find is the people in these areas will never rub it in on the outsiders by calling out names for a particular set of people. Whereas in Delhi, the word ‘chinki’ is a way of demeaning people from the Northeast!
Yanna Sharma, On Email
If you do them any good, the tribals will give their lives for you. But if you do them any harm, even by mistake, they will retaliate. If a tribal harms another tribal, it is considered normal among the tribes. But if you touch or harm a tribal, the whole village will come to fight against you. It’s even more complicated when it comes to females. Among the tribals like that of the Northeast or the Rathwas in Gujarat or the Adivasis of Maharashtra, boys and girls normally do not mix up for work or conversation. Tribal girls always marry within the tribe. If she marries an outsider, she is considered dead by the family and the tribe!
Daniel D’souza, On Email